Vivera Foodgroup, the Netherlands-based manufacturer, has committed itself to a meatless future after selling off meat company Encko.

The company, which already also markets vegetarian and vegan products, will concentrate on growing its plant-based businesses Vivera, Culifrost and Dutch Tofu Co.

Encko, a specialist in chilled and deep-frozen meat products, was sold to locally-based meat processor Van Loon Group at the end of May, although most of its 100 employees will stay with Vivera Foodgroup, the company said.

Vivera Foodgroup said it has “strong ambitions” for meat alternatives and is planning “large-scale investment” in expanding production capacity and its product range.

The company claims to be already one of the largest producers of plant-based products in Europe with the production of more than one million plant-based products per week. Its products are available in more than 25,000 supermarkets in 25 European countries.

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By GlobalData

In a statement, Vivera Foodgroup said: “Given the rapidly developing market demand and the sale of Enkco, Vivera Foodgroup wants to invest structurally at a higher level in expansions of production capacity and new products. In the short term, production capacity of Vivera’s plant in the Netherlands will be considerably expanded in the third quarter of 2019.”

Willem van Weede, chief executive officer of Vivera Foodgroup, added: “We are one of the first companies in the world’s meat industry to say final goodbye to meat. From now on we only focus on plant-based foods which are really conquering the world.

“More and more consumers are discovering that plant-based products can be just as tasty as real meat and have many benefits for personal health, environmental impact and animal welfare. As a result of the sale of our meat activities we think we can boost even more Vivera’s rapid international growth.”